Rangers center Dominic Moore, who returned to the NHL this season after leaving hockey in 2012 to care for his dying wife, was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Tuesday night.
Moore, 33, who is the first Ranger to win the Masterton since Adam Graves in 2001, received the trophy, which honors perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship, at the league's annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
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The nine-year veteran, who attended Harvard University, was drafted by the Rangers in 2000 and returned as a free agent last summer. He scored 18 points in 73 games, and had eight points in the postseason, including the goal that sent the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final.
"I really appreciate and feel very grateful for this award . . . It's an award I have a ton of respect for," Moore said Tuesday night. "Perseverance is something I've tried to bring into my life throughout my life and perseverance is also something that doesn't happen on your own, it's something that is a team thing and so I'd like to thank my family, my friends, the Rangers organization, my teammates.
"I've had a lot of good examples of perseverance over the years and none more so than my wife, Katie, so this award is very meaningful and I'm very grateful. Thank you."
Moore's wife passed away in January 2013 from a rare form of liver cancer at the age of 32. He took a leave from San Jose in the spring of 2012 and did not play during the 48-game, 2012-13 lockout-shortened season.
Three other Rangers -- Jean Ratelle (1971), Rod Gilbert (1976) and Anders Hedberg (1985) -- have received the award, honoring Masterton, who played for the Minnesota North Stars and died on Jan. 15, 1968, after being injured during a game.
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